Prep girls soccer: Fillpot anchors Bonneville's defense
Bonneville senior Megan Fillpot was in the sixth grade when her coach Robert McDaniel attended a camp that offered advice on developing a goalkeeper.
The suggestion it's often best to grab the most skilled offensive player you have and put that player in the net.
So when his starting keeper struggled in the first half, McDaniel had no qualms about pulling then-forward Fillpot and giving her a shot in goal.
"She's always been so athletic, and the position just came natural to her," McDaniel said. "I think from a keeper's perspective, it helps to have played on the other side because you have a grasp of what the offensive players might do."
Since that sixth-grade shutout, Fillpot hasn't stepped out of the net for McDaniel, who has coached her all the way through her senior year.
"When I first started playing, I thought I'd be there for a game, but I liked it and right from the start I felt like I knew what to do back there," Fillpot said.
Fillpot helped the Lakers to the 4A state championship as a sophomore starter in 2012. She followed that with 11 shutouts her junior year.
The goal she allowed that knocked Bonneville from last year's playoffs is the one she said is hard to let go.
Fillpot found herself alone on an island early in last year's 4A state championship game. Skyline's Natalie Williams had broken free against the Lakers' back line, and Fillpot leaned on her many years of keeping experience to guess Williams would go high and right.
While the guess was good, the shot was better.
"The feeling that her goal was probably the game-winner was incredibly hard to deal with," Fillpot said.
The feeling of that 2-1 loss didn't sit well with Fillpot or her Bonneville teammates. She entered fall camp with a renewed passion.
"She basically told the other girls that if they weren't here to win a championship, they were welcome to leave," he said.
Fillpot said she saw that championship mentality on the 2010 squad, noting their work ethic was exceptional.
"This team means a lot to me, and I want to win a state championship, but that means being at practice every day and giving 100 percent in everything we do," she said.
Bonneville started the season 7-2 with identical 1-0 losses coming to Davis and Ogden. In those nine contests, the Lakers have given up just three goals, a stat Fillpot and McDaniel credit to the experience of the back line.
"These girls have played together for a long time, and they're familiar with what each of them is going to do in any circumstance," McDaniel said.
While defense is their stable, Fillpot knows a little more offense wouldn't hurt their championship chances.
"We just need to work on our positioning and getting the ball in the right places so we can be our most effective," she said.
At the net
Bonneville goalkeeper Megan Fillpot was the starting goalkeeper on the Lakers' 2010 championship squad. She hopes to lead the team to another state title during her senior season.
Fillpot always plays goal for the Lakers, but she steps out to play forward in an indoor league where she has been the team's leading scorer in the offseason.
Bonneville's defense has allowed just three goals through nine games, and coach Robert McDaniel said center back Sadee Sholly and the rest of the back line have been instrumental in the success.